Friday, June 10, 2016

I want Isabel Spellman to be my BFF

Of course, she never would be...that's just not how she rolls. She is kind of like Meredith Grey, only with less college, no Yang, and certainly no McDreamy (what can I say, I am a fan). 
If you don't know who Isabel Spellman is, let me introduce you to the least flashy and clean cut literary heroine I have enjoyed in a long time. She is the primary character in Lisa Lutz Spellman Files series, and I may just have a crush on her.

My first book by Lisa Lutz was Heads You Lose, which she wrote with her ex-boyfriend David Hayward.  They trade off chapters of the crime novel, and include their notes to each other...mainly complaining about killing off each other's favorite characters, passive aggressively turning a love interest into a stripper, and ruminating on the reasons their relationship failed. I have heard a few people say that their personal letters interrupted the story, but I found them to be the most intriguing part.  I needed to read more by this lady...her comedy is definitely my style.  I had to give the Spellman Files a try.

I devoured the first two books in the series and the other 4 are on my to-read list. I think I loved every bit of these books...from Izzy's obsession with Get Smart to her very succinct descriptions of  her ex boyfriends. The Spellman family run a detective agency, but spend most of their time tailing each other. Chaos ensues...Isabel tells her new guy she is a teacher, and spends weeks putting on her idea of a teacher costume so he doesn't find out. The closest thing she has to a friend is her cranky bartender. But her obsessive personality helps her to be a memorable detective, in a book genre now filled with strong female detective types. Plus the book is peppered with hilarious footnotes, which add to the casual flair in which it's written.  It almost feels like you're reading someones journal, which brings out my nosey busy-body side.
These books are not new (book 6 came out in 2013) so you might be wondering why I have Isabel on the brain.  I'm currently reading Lisa Lutz new book The Passenger, which has reminded me of how much I like her style and characters.  She writes females in a way that I find refreshing considering I read a lot of "book club pick" type tomes.  The Passenger has definitely started off with a bang...or maybe I should say a dead husband at the bottom of the stairs.  I can't wait to find out what the main character Tanya (surely an alias), now Amelia, is running from in her past.  And whether her new friend Blue is going to make her problems worse. I will definitely post a full review once I'm done with the book.

But if you have never read any of Lisa Lutz novels, consider checking one out.  Let me know if you too wish you could have a drink or 4 with Izzy Spellman.  Are there any other literary characters you wish you could hang with?  

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